Why did the Federal Government fund $9,212 an hour for a drumming event?
The Canada 150 Fund’s goal is to create opportunities for Canadians to participate in activities that contribute to building a sense of pride and attachment to Canada. Details and applications for this fund were made available through Canadian Heritage.
I explore a particular application that caught my attention for a drumming event held in Victoria, British Columbia on Saturday, February 4th 2017. This event was held by the Victoria African & Caribbean Society ("VACCS").
The VACCS is a not-for-profit society incorporated on October 19, 2012. The society’s mission is to “advance awareness and understanding of the richness and diversity of African and Caribbean culture and traditions through the promotion of a broad range of cultural, educational and artistic activities, events and programs.”
The federal government granted VACCS a total of $73,700 through the Canada 150 Fund as well another grant. Through a Freedom of Information Request and digging around, including a phone call with the founder of the society, it appears precious tax dollars were foolishly given to the pseudo Canadian flag-waving event held by VACCS.
This report has uncovered the workings of both an opportunist and a government which has lost control of its fiscal responsibility. At the surface, a program such as the Canada 150 Fund is hard to argue with. Any criticism of this initiative would appear to be unpatriotic. This is not the case. The Canada 150 Fund is a great initiative for Canadians to celebrate our heritage and multi-cultural society.
Since this program falls under the Ministry of Canadian Heritage, we ask Minister Mélanie Joly to answer the following questions:
- Given the VACCS has been dissolved for over a year, did the federal government not perform due diligence on where this cash was going?
- How much of the funding was used for its intended purpose? No one knows as the “non-profit society” has failed to report its financials NOR are these financials being made available to the public.
- How much money have other organizations provided to this society?
- Will the Federal Government provide an independent audit of this application and final report to the general public?
We, as Canadian tax payers, deserve to know.
Read the full report here.